18 July 2010

Good morning to you all.

After a couple of weeks of absolutely splendid weather, this past week has been decidedly unsettled – blustery winds with thunderous buckets of rain interspersed with bright, clear but very blowy moments. Quite a contrast.

Certainly the vegetables enjoyed the brilliant sunshine and were particularly grateful when we remembered to water them from time to time. In particular, the black currants have outdone themselves this year which is somewhat unfortunate (for me, anyway); black currants are perhaps my least favourite soft fruit and, for some reason, we have about six bushes each of which is laden with enough black currants to supply the whole of the Far East with plenty left over for several dozen black currant crumbles. Ms Playchute enlisted the assistance of her sister Judi and our house guests last weekend to make a start on the harvest; most of the produce has now been transformed into black currant jam which, allegedly, many of our friends and acquaintances enjoy immensely. Good luck to them, I say!

As you will all know, we live in the country and there are a considerable number of horse-riding people in the vicinity. Just down the road at Aston-le-Walls there is a farm which is regularly used as a venue for equestrian competitions and, when these are in session the roads round about are crowded with horse transport vehicles. What struck me was that all of these vehicles have the word “Horses” emblazoned across the front, presumably to reveal to oncoming traffic that they are, in fact, carrying horses. I was wondering why vehicles which transport other animals, or indeed any sort of produce, don’t do the same. You never see a lorry/truck carrying lambs or pigs to market advertising their cargo across the front nor can I remember ever seeing a lorry with “Backed Beans” across the front. To be fair, sometimes there will be some form of advertising copy along the side of a lorry which will reveal what it is carrying – a large image of a Heinz Baked Bean tin is a pretty clear hint, I guess. But never across the front and I was wondering why this is so? Is it particularly useful to me to know that the lorry coming down the road in the opposite direction is carrying some horses? Would it make any difference if it didn’t have that information? Perhaps Amanda can enlighten me. Is this a universal phenomenon or is it strictly a British or European one? Is there some form of European legislation which requires vehicles transporting horses to advertise that fact? What about ponies? Or very, very large dogs?

A couple of articles caught my eye this week. The first relates to that age old question: Which came first: the chicken or the egg? Well, it now seems that scientists have solved that mystery and you can read the details here.

The second concerns an annual event of which I was unaware and, considering that it takes place not all that far from Miles’ beach house, I am surprised that I have never been invited to participate. I am, of course, talking about the annual “Amtrak Mooning” which takes place on the second Saturday in July each year. Looks like good clean fun.

Finally, a “new” section of the web site contains some information about the upcoming Stragapalooza Festival. There is an Arrivals and Departures board so that you can work out when not to be in camp as well as a provisional Menu board with the menu submissions we’ve had so far. Please let me know of any errors or omissions. Only a couple of weeks to go!

Love to you all,

Greg